Pairings: OriginalCharacters Julian/Emon
Implements Used: hand, purple paddle
Warnings: Emon has I bit of a dirty mouth, or rather brain? I don't know which.
Notes: Can you tell I’m single? XD
[or alternatively known as; Happy unimaginative consumerist-oriented and entirely arbitrary, manipulative and shallow interpretation of love day]
“Oh wow Audrey! That bouquet is massive!” one of the paraprofessionals crowed as the deliveryman placed the bouquet of white roses on the desk of the teachers lounge. “David must have plans for you!”
There was a chorus of wolf whistles and laughs as Audrey replied with a swing of her grotesquely boney hips and a saucy wink. Or at least she thought it was a saucy wink, to me it looked more like an over exaggerated flinch of someone who had been jabbed in the face with a hot poker. She threaded her fingers through her bleach blonde hair and held out a hand to the room. Two of the female paras squealed and a few of the teachers called out their congratulations.
“It’s a VVS-1 12carat diamond!”
She flounced for her devoted duo and flashed her hand every chance she got. She turned abruptly to me, as she always did whenever she found something to rub in my face. Audrey was dead set against me in every and any endeavor, be it our kid’s testing scores, the yearly student recitals or even what we have for lunch. She always wants me to appear less competent than her.
She sashayed --I prayed that she would trip, fall and …well not die but close to it-- over to where I sat with my stack of tests. The room grew quiet and all eyes were on us. That feud between the math teachers was well known by everyone other than administration. The twiggy little witch shoved her hand right under my nose and giggled in a way that made me feel just as exultant as I did when Tybalt shit in my sock draw.
“Well Emon?” she started, “Don’t you have something to say?”
I looked up at her and smiled as sweet as I could, which in my opinion is pretty damn sweet, taking her hand gently in my own and looking at the ring. “I’m so happy for you!” I let my thumb brush over the clear diamond. “You finally found some one who can appreciate you.” I slathered kindness on my words until they were dripping sarcasm.
Her eyes narrowed even as she smiled. “Yes, Dave really is a sweetie. He’d even promised me a trip to the spa tonight! We’re going to tell his mother the news at dinner! I want to make a good impression and be a daughter in law she can be proud of.”
I hummed the chorus of my favorite rolling stones song and returned to my papers. I’ll admit it was a bit facetious of me to start humming You Can’t Always Get What You Want but I thought it was perfectly acceptable under the circumstances. “I’m most certain she will see just how extraordinary you are.”
Then I began to plot my next move.
For those of you who don’t know, dealing with Audrey is oddly reminiscent of chess. Not that I ever play much any more …although, Julian’s mother does like to bring out her set every once in a while. “Again, congratulations on your engagement and tell that obscenely lucky man I send my,” I hesitated; let them fill in the blanks. “--Cordial greetings.”
And it was that moment that the shark smelled blood.
I had made an error and left my king wide open.
“Oh, yes. I’ll let him know.” She pulled her hand away and leaned against the wall pressing her cup to her painted lips. “But only if you tell Julian I said hello. I notice he’s not here today? Is he planning something special or is he actually working?” The snide little so-and-so (cant say what I really want to we are in a school after all) sent me a discrete smirk from behind her cup as the principal, Mrs. Grebes, walked in with a bright smile and bouquet of crown majesty roses.
It was the most frustrating thing ever to be cut off like that.
I wanted to snap at her and defend Julian.
He’s a better person than she could ever hope to meet.
Just because he found community service fulfilling didn’t mean he didn’t work. Julian, being a freelance web designer, doesn’t work in an office he works from home. He often brought his laptop with him and came to work with me. He spent his time at the school volunteering in the offices, grading multiple-choice tests for whatever teacher asked and even stayed to help with after school tutoring. Julian is well known and well liked by students and teachers alike. After all, this is the middle school he went to as a kid and many of the staff knew him personally.
Mrs. Grebes, a kind faced older woman with dark skin, steel-gray hair, almost no wrinkles and bright brown eyes cheerfully greeted everyone before placing the bouquet on the center table. “Well, I’ll bet someone here is very loved!” she exclaimed as she set her own bouquet besides the massive white pollen trap that were Audrey’s white roses. “Richard got me flowers as well! Did anyone else get flowers? We can all display them on the table, it will brighten up this room a bit!” The old woman was always so cheerful and upbeat that it was painful.
Everyone did what she had requested and placed their assorted bouquets be they edible arrangements, cookie bouquets or traditional flowers onto the table. It was a riot of color and sweet smells that irritated the hell out of me.
“Emon, why don’t you put your flowers down too?” Audrey’s enthusiasm was not falsified at all. What she was so enthusiastic about was my lack of flowers or gifts. An amazing actress, that one.
I glanced at the table then Audrey, again I smiled. “No flowers this year.”
“Or last either!” She said, louder than necessary. “We really should have a few words with that man of yours. He’s not very appreciative of you, and he really should be you’re an absolute gem!”
To that I only grinned and waved a hand dismissively, “I don't mind at all, flowers may look nice, but I don't much care for them. They just wither and die after a short time. There is a proverb about that believe…” I clicked my fingers and frowned as if trying to remember and then I looked at Audrey with a wide welcoming smile, “Beauty is a fading flower. I think it’s a Danish proverb but I’m not too certain.” I collected my papers under an arm and drained the last of my drink. “Have a good afternoon all of you! Congrats on the engagement Audrey! I’m sure you’ll look beautiful in ivory wedding dress.”
“I’m going to be wearing white.”
“Really? Silly me! Well, you never have been very traditional.”
It wasn’t until I got home that that whole fiasco hit me.
I fumed as I tossed my bag over the back of the sofa so that it landed in front of it. I heard a yelp and knew I had managed to startle Tybalt, which made me feel a little better. That menace.
“Hey, watch it with that. You damn near gave me a concussion.” Came the indignant voice of my partner. Oops --On second though no, he deserves it. “Not only that but if you break my screen, you’re paying the repair bills.”
I jammed my coat onto the hook and looked at the living room floor. He looked just like he always did, thin with an errant mess of corkscrew curls. At least this time he tried to subdue the mass of hair with a hair-claw, though it did little. He worked in chaos. With papers scattered all over, Tybalt (the little hell beast) on his back and the arm of his glasses in his mouth while tapping away at his laptop.
And suddenly I was angry.
I had to go to work and comment on some arrogant harpy’s engagement ring anf Julian sat here in a sweatshirt and pajama pants and tweaking websites.
There was no special dinner, there was no chocolate and there wasn’t even a naked Julian. There was nothing special at all, but of course why would there be? Julian never gave a second glance to the calendar; maybe he didn’t know what day it was.
I snorted softly and walked into the kitchen where was greeted to the sight of Maehe seated at the counter scooping something into his mouth. The kid waved to me as he slid down to the floor. He had on one of my old university sweatshirts; it looked like an ugly sack dress on him.
Apparently he’d be spending the night …that meant no sex.
So here’s the Valentines Day tally; no candy, no card, no sex.
“Hi Emon.” He grinned as he made his way to the sink and pulled the step stool out from the cabinet and situated himself on it. “How was work?”
“Fine thanks, but why are you here?” Julian’s brother only came to spend the night every third Friday and this was a Monday.
“Mommy’s spending tonight upstairs with Auntie Tory. They’re watching Triple-X, Die-hard, some hack-and-slash movie and ordering take out. Pretty boring.” He shrugged, “I prefer suspense and I didn’t want to be alone downstairs so I asked Jewels if I could stay over.”
“Your mom’s not going out with a boyfriend?”
“No.” He jumped off of the stool and put it away, done with the dishes. “Besides if she was she’d tell me, though I never get to meet any of the guys myself.”
“Yeah, I never have either.” I glanced at the entrance startled by Julian’s voice. He ambled to the fridge and poured a bit of milk into his mug. “She’s always been that way. She’s had a decent number of boyfriends, but she wont let us meet them.” He added sugar and then coffee to the mug before stirring the contents and testing it.
He’s one hell of a hypocrite, if I wanted a glass of Pepsi anytime after six the answer was no. He actually marks the level of the bottle every time we have any. And when I do have an unsanctioned cup of soda in my hand he pours it down the drain (followed by the bottle in the fridge, regardless of how much is in it) while clicking his tongue.
‘The doctor said you have to watch your stomach lining. You don't want another ulcer do you?’
Then as if that wasn’t enough he bullies me into drinking milk.
And he was, smug and sure as shit enjoying that cup of coffee. “Welcome home, Elmo.” He stepped forward, stood on the tips of his toes to press his lips against my own and walked back out to resume his place before his laptop.
“What’s for dinner?” I turned to the nine-year old washing his plate. “Is there dinner?”
“You know there is. Mommy brought your weekly rations when she brought me.”
In case any of you were wondering. Julian’s mom is convinced that her son and I are starving and incapable of cooking or ordering take out. So she makes six pans of food and brings them over every Sunday. She may spoil her sons beyond belief, have a tendency to be over protective and very scary but the woman is a damn good cook. So we keep our mouths shut, accept the food and eat like kings every night.
I spooned some rice and a pork chop on to a plate and put it in the microwave.
“Gee, did Tybalt poop on your socks again? You look incensed.”
No matter how many times I see Maehe it always throws me how mature and intelligent he is for his age. He’s nine and smarter than most adults, with a larger vocabulary and more tact to boot.
“Nah,” I shook my head. “Just thinking.”
“Sure you are.” He taunted with a smirk. He walked in to the hallway and to the game room turning just to look over his shoulder and mouth ‘liar’
I jerked, surprised.
He looked too much like his brother.
I heard the opening theme of Call of Duty through the walls.
-- And now I feel guilty.
How do I feel bad because my partner’s the inconsiderate ass!?
The microwave beeped and I just glared at it. My appetite was gone and I wanted nothing more than to kick the dog that was sniffing at my foot. So I prepared to indulge myself and pulled my foot back just a bit.
And felt a sting on my left butt cheek that sent my foot right back to the floor in a move that looked vaguely (but wasn’t—I swear!) like a stomp. I spun around to see Julian at the sink.
“You kick my dog and I’ll bust your ass.” He set his mug and a plate down with a clink and started to wash the dishes.
I couldn’t help but to catch my lip between my teeth. He wasn’t looking at me but he radiated displeasure. Not willing to take the risk, I slunk to the living room and threw myself on the sofa resolutely watching as Tybalt paraded across the living room with a chew toy in his mouth. He jumped onto the far end of the sofa, settled down smugly and began to mutilate what had once been a stuffed duck.
I glanced into the kitchen to make sure I wasn’t being watched and shoved the damn mutt of the sofa …with my foot… just a little bit harder than necessary. I didn’t want to make him yelp.
My head jerked up and in the mirror over the sink I saw those angry green-gray eyes on me and sunk into the sofa. Shit! I forgot about that mirror. I watched Julian wipe his hands off on a towel with surprising clarity.
Why is it, that when you’re about to meet death all of your senses work overtime?
I mean colors become twice as vivid, the sound of his footsteps seem like the pounding of war drums and you feel everything. Everything from the fabric of the clothes your wearing to the airflow is twice as pronounced.
“I wasn’t out to hurt the mutt! Tybalt! —I mean Tybalt! I just wanted to make him get away from me.” I pled as he situated himself besides me. I knew it wouldn’t work, he had that look on his face. The look that says; ‘I warned you but since you want to go this route…’
I hate that look!
I don’t want to go any route!
I want to go out for dinner and maybe do a little skin slapping of the enjoyable kind! That was all!
“Emon, Are you going to come on your own or do you need to stand in the corner?” His voice was perfectly level. Couldn’t he be angry? Or Sorrowful or something under than this!?
“No, you can’t sp—do that with Maehe here!” He would, he had and I was stalling.
“And why not? He’s in your game room playing ‘Call of Duty’ with the headset, mic and surround sound on, he won’t hear a thing. Besides, you’re the one who told him you got spanked.”
“That was circumstantial!” I groaned recalling the incident.
It was a year or two ago and Julian and I were at his mother’s house. When we had walked in Maehe was sobbing in his mother’s lap with a pinkened bottom. When he turned and saw us he started wailing all over again completely mortified. Later that evening when Ms Ramos and her eldest son were chatting I snuck into Maehe’s room.
“G’way” He muttered turning to face the wall.
“Come now, it cant be that horrible.” I put an arm around his shoulders and pulled in over to me, careful not to let his bottom touch anything. Experience is a great equalizer. “What happened.”
“No I saw your mom holding you after she spanked you.” I was used to kids, and I knew how to make them talk. Being a teacher certainly had its perks. “I asked what happened to cause it.”
“I threw a book at Mrs. Peterson in class.” I winced, not looking good here. “She was wrong about the year of the capture of Stony Point its 1779 not 75. But she wouldn’t listen to me or check the book. Then she called me know it all—I got mad and tried to make her look again but when she wouldn’t I got angry and I threw the book at her.”
“Ah, did you tell your mom all of this?”
“Yes.” he muttered, “She said it was still no excuse for throwing things and that she’d speak to Mrs. Peterson.”
“Don’t worry about it then.”
“But Mommy spanked me!” He looked like he would break out in tears again from humiliation. The poor thing was beyond mortified, just saying the word turned him bright red! I always wondered how Maehe was so pale when his brother and mother were so much darker than he was. “Spankings are for little kids!”
“Am I a little kid?”
“No, but you don’t-” the poor lamb had no clue as to how devious, unfair, mean, ogre-ish and evil his brother was.
“I do.” I grimaced just thinking about it. “When I’ve done something…”
“Inappropriate” The munchkin supplied.
“Inappropriate, yes, or when I’ve got my priorities mixed up…”
That kid is amazing I swear, I never had to continue he hugged me like I was the one who needed comforting and crooned a ‘Poor Elmo’ in my ear. After that he emerged from his room shot evil glares at his brother and every chair while clinging to my side. “Wonderful kid, that Maehe.”
“Yes, I agree, my brother is wonderful but that’s not reason enough to exonerate you.” Damn, the present sucks. “Therefore, I suggest you go fill that corner over there unless you’re ready to move on.”
I stood up and fumbled with the buttons of my jeans. There was no way in hell I was standing in that corner for half an eon until my legs turned to lead and crumbed beneath me into dust! When I was done I huffed and threw my self over my tyrant’s lap.
I looked over my shoulder and snarled a coarse, “Well?”
“Last time I checked your boxers didn’t kick my dog and go about with a storm cloud over head.”
“Neither did my ass, does it get to vacate your lap as well?”
“Right. So, a smart ass for the smart ass.” He stated and wrapped a long brown arm around my waist. It was then that I realized that I should have kept my mouth shut.
How ever bad anticipation might seem the first swat is always the worst.
For Julian it’s the weakest but it starts off the ritual burning and execution of my ass.
For such a small guy his hands are huge! When each hand lands I can feel the sting of his palm and prickling where his fingers had landed. He’s merciless! Julian only swings his hand in a forward swipe that caught more flesh then if he were to just smack like a normal person.
But of course I was hardly concerned with his strategy, my main concern was the fact that I had to convince him to stop. Attempt one was diplomacy.
“Julian! Ow!—Ju ow! Please! I wont kick Tybalt anymore! (Insert a tearful sniff here) I’m sorry he was just—Oooo! On the soFA! Ahh! Ow, please! (and here) no more!”
“Definitely, no more.” He stopped swatting at my ass and let the uniform sting take over. I was more than shocked that my diplomatic skills had taken effect so early. Then he killed —no, eviscerated my joy. “No, more over your boxers. So here’s your chance to take them off on your own.”
“Nooo(here too)oo!” That was not what I wanted to hear! He was supposed to say; ‘Okay Elmo, you’ve learned your lesson and you’re completely right Tybalt is an evil little menace.’
“I see then,” He stood me up and pushed me over to the corner of the sitting room and turned on the damn timer that lived on the shelf. The tic-tic-tic of the timer drowned out his footsteps as he left the room. I heard the sound of a composition four blow up from the other side of the apartment and pressed my forehead against the concrete.
God, what I wouldn’t give to be playing a video game instead of standing here.
I heard the couch shift and the timer was still ticking.
I was stuck looking at this stupid wall with this ugly paint and this throbbing behind. My nose was still burning and so were my eyes. I hadn’t cried yet but it was a certainly a close thing. After another few ticks the timer rang and I turned to face Julian.
He was watching me with his hooded eyes, his mouth curved in a distasteful frown as he held that damnable little paddle in his hand. I really did cry then. Huge hot tears burned their way out of my eyes and down my chin.
I hated that thing! It was bright purplish pink, made of Purple Heart wood.
Once I asked him, why a purple paddle?
His answer; to make sure it’s an attention getter.
Needless to say I had quite a few choice words for him! …That I kept to myself. Just so you know, my sense of self-preservation doesn’t always desert me.
“Lets not draw this out alright.” He spoke while looking me in the eyes and somehow I was in front of him.
When he looks me in the eye its like my body goes on autopilot and does what ever the hell he wants. It doesn’t even consult with me and it’s my damned body!
Hey Emon, should we go over there?
No way, Body. He’s going to whack at our ass with a paddle until we die!
Oh, okay then, lets not go over there. You’re so smart Emon!
That’s what would have happened had Julian not cheated! But he did and now I was being drawn over his lap with my lower body propped on the sofa and my boxers eased down. I flinched when I felt the cool wood against my skin.
“This could have been over if you had just co-operated, Emon.” He sighed and then raised the stupid plank. I couldn’t think, couldn’t breathe and couldn’t tell you how many times he laid that ugly thing across my ass. What I can tell you is that it hurt and itched and stung like you wouldn’t believe! By the time Julian was done I was 100 percent sure that Tybalt could tap dance in my sock draw and I’d look the other way.
I was a sobbing, hiccupping mess when Julian eased me away from his knees onto the sofa. He slipped to the floor as I sprawled across the couch. He adjusted my boxers so that they were back in place and leaned against the couch so that we were face to face.
“I-I’m sorry. I didn’t want to hurt (insert repentant sniffles) him just make him m-move.”
Jewels wiped the tears off of my cheeks with his large thumbs and smiled softly. “I know, but you have to think. Elmo, Tybalt is a five-pound dog. A nudge for you is a punt for him and besides you don't kick animals.”
“Hnn.” I looked away from his eyes. That whole if I can’t see you, you can’t see me game. Ever since I was four I knew that it didn’t work, but I I’m nothing if not persistent. I tried anyway.
Julian just used two fingers to push my chin up and regain eye contact. “You didn’t hurt Tybalt, he’s okay but you did hurt me. I love my dog just as much as you love that rabbit of yours, so please can you just try to tolerate him for me?”
I nodded. He wasn’t asking for anything more than I already did on a daily basis. Endure the mutt. That was all. Not like, not pet, just endure.
“Good, now that that’s been settled do you want to tell me what’s gotten you so worked up this evening?” Julian threaded his fingers through my hair and I moaned and buried my face into my arms. “Yes, yes, it’s a terrible and complicated matter that a person of my pathetic stature would fail to understand oh wise one, but please try to tell me a bit about it anyway. Lets see if my poor degenerate mind can handle the strain.”
I chuckled weakly and shook my head.
He’s an ass, that man of mine.
“Audrey has a ring.” I grumbled.
“Ah, the infamous Audrey.” Julian rolled his eyes. He didn’t care for her either. “I can’t believe she found someone to tolerate her, the man must be a saint. I send my condolences to him and his family.”
I couldn’t stifle the snicker that broke through.
Julian grinned, looking for all the world like a naughty child despite it being me who lay here with a burning red butt. “Goes to show, there’s some one for everyone. But what’s Audrey got to do with you?”
“Its valentines day, you moron.” I said with out any real bite.
“Its February fourteenth, Elmo.” He propped his head up on a hand our faces were just about three inches apart. “I love you regardless of what day it is. I wont buy into a cooperate holiday that has been engineered to rob you of your money and good sense, all while singling out people who are so unfortunate as to be alone on a random day of the year.”
“In short, you don’t believe in valentines day?”
He pursed his thick lips and snorted. “I love you more today than yesterday, but not half as much as I’ll love you tomorrow.”
I melted when a long dark arm curled around my shoulders and his chapped lips touched mine. Though kiss was chaste the sentiment was there. Julian pulled back, shook his head once more and stood up. On his way out he tossed something to me and called, “Happy unimaginative consumerist-oriented and entirely arbitrary, manipulative and shallow interpretation of love day,” over his shoulder.
The little bastard had thrown me a chocolate covered marshmallow heart.